Coping Strategies Used by Adult Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.South Med J. 2015 Jun; 108(6):337-42.SM
Symptoms of and treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a significant impact on patients' quality of life (QOL) and result in an increased prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders. Little is known about the type of coping strategies used by adult patients with IBD to better cope with their chronic illness, however. The objectives of this study were to identify the types of coping styles and their impact on the QOL of patients with IBD.
The first 150 consecutive participants with IBD were recruited at five major tertiary hospitals and given an anonymous survey consisting of demographic information, the Jalowiec Coping Scale, and the Shortened Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire.
The cohort was 51.3% men and included 150 participants with a mean age of 39.3 years. The primary coping mechanisms used were confrontive (46.7%), evasiveness (30.0%), optimistic (18.7%), and fatalistic (4.6%) coping. Participants rated confrontive (62.0%), optimistic (26.6%), and evasive (11.4%) coping styles as the most effective. Those who reported an increased frequency of flares scored lower on QOL (P <0.05) and more often used evasive and fatalistic coping styles (P < 0.05) compared with other coping strategies; however, after controlling for disease activity, QOL was significantly better for those who primarily used adaptive coping styles compared with those who used maladaptive styles (P <0.001).
We demonstrated that confrontive, evasive, and optimistic styles of coping are most widely used among patients with IBD. Despite controlling for disease activity, we demonstrated that those who used adaptive coping styles had a higher QOL compared with those who used maladapative coping styles. Future research on coping is warranted to assess coping styles on therapeutic compliance and disease perception.